A View From Middle England - Conservative with a slight libertarian touch - For Christian charity and traditional belief - Free Enterprise NOT Covert Corporatism

Monday, October 05, 2009

Strictly Come Dancing star not a racist

One Two, One.....There has been a row brewing over a remark that Anton Du Beke (or Anthony Beke to his memory) made about his Strictly Come Dancing partner Laila Rouass. He used the term "Paki" in a rehearsal period. Anton is a man given to banter. He likes to prod and probe with words, some of which are inappropriate or meaningless or downright mysterious. However, he gives off no vibes whatsoever of being a racist.

Laila is actually not a Pakistani. She has an Indian mother and a Moroccan father, hence her surname. She was born in London and is English. She is reported to have accepted his apology. She enjoys dancing with Anton.

Now I don't think he should have made the remark. However, the people who seem most upset by all this are not the two people themselves but the politically correct types who have come out of the woodwork to create a stir. They have deemed this word offensive. It may be and probably is. But I think there is a far greater issue here. The promoters of political correctness have a kind of self-righteous guardianship of other people's feelings. They also have a guilt complex gene in their bodies about empire and presumed white supremacy. So they crawl and creep and feign cupboard love to make sure no "ethnic minority person" jumps to the wrong conclusion. It's a kind of pre-emptive strike.

So we all now know this remark was used. No doubt revealed by a BBC insider keen to parrot that the "organisation does not condone offensive language in the workplace". I'd rather people learnt not to use offensive words or swear so much or generally act in a boorish manner. I prefer self-control to self-righteous indignation.


I don't think this is about "political correctness". The term "paki" is most often used in a nasty, racist manner, much like the word "nigger", and should not be acceptable in a polite, civilised society. Surely this is just about being decent to one's fellow man, rather than pandering to a minority, and what's wrong with that?

I could think of various words that could have be directed at Laila because she is a woman, too, and I would also say that those would be unacceptable - but not because of political correctness, just simply because it's nasty.

I agree partly. The term "Paki" is offensive because people find it offensive. Therefore it shouldn't be used. Some people, Anton was one, haven't had it impressed upon them until now.

My point about the PC Brigade is that they are stirring it just to have a fight. Anton has apologised and Laila accepted. She's obviously spelt it out to him. But does she want it carrying on so that PC types can get a high out of moaning and prancing about in a self-righteous manner? I doubt that.

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